A story on knowing when to let go and not being able to let go

By Dolph L. Hatfield

In order to become monks, an older monk and a younger monk had to take a vow to never touch a woman. The two monks were ordered to relocate to another monastery which was a 4 day and 3 night journey by foot from where they were currently residing. Early into the first day of their journey, they came to a river that was rapidly rising. A lady asked them to please help her get to the other side of the river where she had left her young children earlier that day. The older monk put the lady on his shoulders and carried her across the river which took all of 10 minutes. The younger monk was so upset that he did not sleep any of the following 3 nights and could hardly think of anything else except what the older monk had done by carrying the lady across the river. Finally, as they approached the new monastery, the younger monk asked “How could you touch that lady by carrying her across the river?” The older monk replied “I put her on my shoulders, carried her for 10 minutes, put her down and forgot about it. You, however, have carried her with you for 3 nights and almost 4 days.”